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Thread: Rotation?

  1. #1
    Willscale
    Guest

    Rotation?

    I'm not keen on stacking cereals and for me in my area cover crops are ok but generally I'm not going to get them in early enough to be good enough 8 years out of 10.

    So I'm planning to do my organic matter building in another way with grass in 15% of the rotation for three years, muck from the dairy farms nearby and sheep grazing in the winter.

    This gives a little bit of a break from the roundup treadmill and my plan is to do two courses of this

    WW/WOSR/WW/Spring Legume/WW/WOSR/WW/WB+Grass (3 years)

    This is slightly too much grass for my aims but it seems to use the synergies of rotating chemicals as well.

    I can also stick in a cover between rape and WW and after WW between legume if conditions are right but if they are wrong then not too bad.

    What say the sages on here? I reckon I may get grain yields to stay the same. On paper I like it.

    my nitrogen bill isn't going to go down however...

  2. #2
    Clive
    Guest

    Re: Rotation?

    Surely a cover crop between the ww/ spring legume must be worthwhile ?

    You could get loads of useful growth and OM there

  3. #3
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Rotation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive View Post
    Surely a cover crop between the ww/ spring legume must be worthwhile ?

    You could get loads of useful growth and OM there
    Yes I would do it there and potentially after rape if conditions ok.

    1st Sept isn't normal wheat ripening time here generally. So a cover crop is a goer but if I get pushed back to 10-15th sept harvest which isn't that uncommon cover crops will be less capable of a job.

    Any other points? There's a flaw somewhere - i think it could be in alternate wheats for 8 years?

  4. #4
    clover
    Guest

    Re: Rotation?

    Cant you fit another spring crop in ?

  5. #5
    Dockers
    Guest

    Re: Rotation?

    Will, How does it pencil ? Looks complicated to me !

  6. #6
    shakerator
    Guest

    Re: Rotation?

    with all these new complex rotations of about 6-8 year sequence how many times will it be modified in these years!

    obviously grass will give you more forgiveness but beyond that i see no point in rotational planning. plan to be flexible

  7. #7
    York
    Guest

    Re: Rotation?

    Quote Originally Posted by shakerator View Post
    with all these new complex rotations of about 6-8 year sequence how many times will it be modified in these years!

    obviously grass will give you more forgiveness but beyond that i see no point in rotational planning. plan to be flexible
    shakerator,
    good point.
    So in the end we don't have s.th. like a rotation. We will fit the best crop to the situation of the field. OK, 2x OSR in a row are not best and not in complience with CC regulations, but this is better to have in a 6 year sequence because you have than 4 years break. But regulations are prohibiting this.
    Otherwise we rely don't know jet what the amount of a certain spring crop is. We know what we will have but the amount will be decided with the spring. For economics we try to have as much main cash crops as possible but if the conditions are right a other crop, like vetch seed production or a mix of oats & fodder peas as certified seed, are a good option and economical similar to a poor main cash crop. So it pays quite often to have with this seed production to prepare the field for a "bumper" Cash crop.
    but this is nothing workable for a a person which is driven purely by economics and has in his head a 5 year plan.
    York-Th.

  8. #8
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Rotation?

    Quote Originally Posted by shakerator View Post
    with all these new complex rotations of about 6-8 year sequence how many times will it be modified in these years!

    obviously grass will give you more forgiveness but beyond that i see no point in rotational planning. plan to be flexible
    Yes I take your point to a degree but my thoughts were also about setting up the conditions to for the best chance of getting a crop in as well. Rape after wheat looks feasible 8 times out of 10, both ww after rape and grass should be 100% doable. I use kerb to my advantage and in a late harvest the WB can become SB undersown etc.

    Looking back, if I'd had an earlier harvest I'd have been drilled up.

  9. #9
    Dockers
    Guest

    Re: Rotation?

    Someone, somewhere, said a rotation should be " unpredictable ". Confuses the grass weeds !! Perhaps it was me ?

  10. #10
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Rotation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dockers View Post
    Someone, somewhere, said a rotation should be " unpredictable ". Confuses the grass weeds !! Perhaps it was me ?
    It should be ok if I don't tell my plan to the grassweeds! :lolk:

  11. #11
    essexpete
    Guest

    Re: Rotation?

    Talking to a friend that I had not been in touch with for a while and thought his take on mixed farming (arable and sheep) very interesting. Farms over chalk and the top soil was thin in places. He feels they have seen a marked improvement in soil condition due to more organic material and have remained clear of some of the current arable hurdles. They grow rye grass herbage as a break crop and have no rape on the farm. IIRR WW is followed by SB and as the barley drilling is completed so they drill ryegrass. The barley is harvested (with a slight problem this year as the rg grew more stronly than normal). I beleive the barley straw is retained on farm for the sheep. The rye grass is then grazed by sheep and eventually shut off the following year to allow heading up. The combine goes in at a time that presumably does not normally clash with cereals. Yields of seed are low but valuable and the remaining swath is baled when dry for more fodder. This would be followed by WW.
    Everything is ploughed and that is where he has seen a difference as the chalk subsoil is less likely to be ploughed up than say 25/30 years ago. All the drilling is with a relatively low hp requirement air/suffolk coulter.
    I may not have all the details 100% but they do avoid slug and BG problems.
    Apologies that I have mentioned this in the DD area but I thought the mixed farm/rotation interesting.

  12. #12
    Steakeater
    Guest

    Re: Rotation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willscale View Post
    I'm not keen on stacking cereals and for me in my area cover crops are ok but generally I'm not going to get them in early enough to be good enough 8 years out of 10.

    So I'm planning to do my organic matter building in another way with grass in 15% of the rotation for three years, muck from the dairy farms nearby and sheep grazing in the winter.

    This gives a little bit of a break from the roundup treadmill and my plan is to do two courses of this

    WW/WOSR/WW/Spring Legume/WW/WOSR/WW/WB+Grass (3 years)

    This is slightly too much grass for my aims but it seems to use the synergies of rotating chemicals as well.

    I can also stick in a cover between rape and WW and after WW between legume if conditions are right but if they are wrong then not too bad.

    What say the sages on here? I reckon I may get grain yields to stay the same. On paper I like it.

    my nitrogen bill isn't going to go down however...
    I would go grass + clover 3 years - WOSR - WW - Spring legume - WB - WOSR - WW - SB undersown

    What do you plan on doing with the grass in the summer?

  13. #13
    clover
    Guest

    Re: Rotation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steakeater View Post
    I would go grass + clover 3 years - WOSR - WW - Spring legume - WB - WOSR - WW - SB undersown

    What do you plan on doing with the grass in the summer?
    Remember,it will be 20 odd years before the last field reaps the benefit of grass in this rotation.

  14. #14
    martian
    Guest

    Re: Rotation?

    Quote Originally Posted by essexpete View Post
    Talking to a friend that I had not been in touch with for a while and thought his take on mixed farming (arable and sheep) very interesting. Farms over chalk and the top soil was thin in places. He feels they have seen a marked improvement in soil condition due to more organic material and have remained clear of some of the current arable hurdles. They grow rye grass herbage as a break crop and have no rape on the farm. IIRR WW is followed by SB and as the barley drilling is completed so they drill ryegrass. The barley is harvested (with a slight problem this year as the rg grew more stronly than normal). I beleive the barley straw is retained on farm for the sheep. The rye grass is then grazed by sheep and eventually shut off the following year to allow heading up. The combine goes in at a time that presumably does not normally clash with cereals. Yields of seed are low but valuable and the remaining swath is baled when dry for more fodder. This would be followed by WW.
    Everything is ploughed and that is where he has seen a difference as the chalk subsoil is less likely to be ploughed up than say 25/30 years ago. All the drilling is with a relatively low hp requirement air/suffolk coulter.
    I may not have all the details 100% but they do avoid slug and BG problems.
    Apologies that I have mentioned this in the DD area but I thought the mixed farm/rotation interesting.
    Friend Sykes in his 1945 classic Humus and the Farmer tells how he turned a very poor Cotswold brash farm into highly productive organic outfit with a four year herbal ley (heavily stocked with sheep/cattle and horses) followed by four years arable (wheat /oats/ barley IIRR). He obviously ploughed a lot but added fair bit of compost to compensate for loss of SOM. It would be interesting to attempt this with dd and the odd spray

  15. #15
    BSH
    Guest

    Re: Rotation?

    OK More musings on rotations! What about WW/WB cover crop/Spring Beans cover crop/Spring Rape? I'm wondering if the spring rape might work on the basis of its later sowing date to get more out of a cover crop and whether this will justify its lower yield? Given the nightmares some of my neighbours are having this autumn with rape eaten by slugs and pigeons such that they are going to have to write some off and redrill perhaps a lower yield from a spring rape is worth while? I know there are issues with it as a weed in W Rape but in this example I am imagining never growing winter rape.Any thoughts?

  16. #16
    clover
    Guest

    Re: Rotation?

    Quote Originally Posted by BSH View Post
    OK More musings on rotations! What about WW/WB cover crop/Spring Beans cover crop/Spring Rape? I'm wondering if the spring rape might work on the basis of its later sowing date to get more out of a cover crop and whether this will justify its lower yield? Given the nightmares some of my neighbours are having this autumn with rape eaten by slugs and pigeons such that they are going to have to write some off and redrill perhaps a lower yield from a spring rape is worth while? I know there are issues with it as a weed in W Rape but in this example I am imagining never growing winter rape.Any thoughts?
    It would result in a very late harvest in my part of the world,and I'd rule it out for that reason alone.No doubt more manageable where you are.

  17. #17
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Rotation?

    cover crop after spring beans - not easy.

    Spring rape - hateful stuff with limited chemical arsenal.

    If you look at it the other way you could have two first cereals, a winter rape and thus a chance for better yields and early drilling and a spring bean to give a herbicide break and a spring roundup and a better cover crop before beans?

    WW/WOSR(cover if you wish)/WB(good cover for grazing)/Sbeans

    Its not a stack but I doubt your grassweed problems are that bad - yet!:lolk:

  18. #18
    BSH
    Guest

    Re: Rotation?

    I pictured a cover crop of oats/rye /vetch would go in, in enough time after the beans? This would possibly be an advantage for the following rape that would be helped by the allelopathy of the oats/rye etc as it need only go in mid to late Apr? My thinking was influenced by the problems people have had with rape this autumn and wondering if I reduced the period when rape was actually growing whether that would help reduce slug pressure on the farm. It seems that rape is the main factor behind slug problems (although not exclusively) which are a bigger problem with DD? Wondering if there is a way of reducing some of the problems with rape without ditching it completely?

  19. #19
    JD_Kid
    Guest

    Re: Rotation?

    i would not go rape after grass, a bigger seed better to get in a tad deeper .. also summer fallow at the end of grass break to get following crop in early

    end of the day any rotation is going to be driven by market forces be it price or inputs the 3 years of grass could be come 10 then 2 grazeing crops and back into grass

  20. #20
    marco
    Guest

    Re: Rotation?

    Why don't we post all our rotation questions in the sticky at the top? It's hard if not impossible to follow all these rotation threads.

    will

  21. #21
    Barleycorn
    Guest

    Re: Rotation?

    Quote Originally Posted by essexpete View Post
    Talking to a friend that I had not been in touch with for a while and thought his take on mixed farming (arable and sheep) very interesting. Farms over chalk and the top soil was thin in places. He feels they have seen a marked improvement in soil condition due to more organic material and have remained clear of some of the current arable hurdles. They grow rye grass herbage as a break crop and have no rape on the farm. IIRR WW is followed by SB and as the barley drilling is completed so they drill ryegrass. The barley is harvested (with a slight problem this year as the rg grew more stronly than normal). I beleive the barley straw is retained on farm for the sheep. The rye grass is then grazed by sheep and eventually shut off the follow,ing year to allow heading up. The combine goes in at a time that presumably does not normally clash with cereals. Yields of seed are low but valuable and the remaining swath is baled when dry for more fodder. This would be followed by WW.
    Everything is ploughed and that is where he has seen a difference as the chalk subsoil is less likely to be ploughed up than say 25/30 years ago. All the drilling is with a relatively low hp requirement air/suffolk coulter.
    I may not have all the details 100% but they do avoid slug and BG problems.
    Apologies that I have mentioned this in the DD area but I thought the mixed farm/rotation interesting.
    Sheep aren't called "the golden hoof" for no reason in Hampshire!

    Harry Ridley made a similar farm very productive with sheep, although he didn't grow herbage seeds.

    Half the estate that he farmed has given up the sheep and gone all arable. I was speaking to their tractor driver a while back and he says that the soil structure and 'workability' of the soil on the sheep side is far better.

  22. #22
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Rotation?

    Quote Originally Posted by marco View Post
    Why don't we post all our rotation questions in the sticky at the top? It's hard if not impossible to follow all these rotation threads.

    will
    I don't like that rotation sticky. I find it a bit unwieldy.

  23. #23
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Rotation?

    Quote Originally Posted by BSH View Post
    Wondering if there is a way of reducing some of the problems with rape without ditching it completely?
    Maybe making sure your wheat after rape is drilled by 15th Sept? At least then you will have a chance of a better plant and put a good bang of pellets on straight away. And a good roll.

    The biggest problem this year for me was constant rain was washing pellets away too quick combined with the feeding frenzy and very low growth rates for the time of year. I don't expect it to be as bad as this year regularly but never say never.

  24. #24
    essexpete
    Guest

    Re: Rotation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barleycorn View Post
    Sheep aren't called "the golden hoof" for no reason in Hampshire!

    Harry Ridley made a similar farm very productive with sheep, although he didn't grow herbage seeds.

    Half the estate that he farmed has given up the sheep and gone all arable. I was speaking to their tractor driver a while back and he says that the soil structure and 'workability' of the soil on the sheep side is far better.
    Funnily enough, IIRR, my friend worked on that estate in his college days.

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